Correlation Between Transperineal 3-Dimensional Ultrasound Measurements of Levator Hiatus and Female Sexual Function

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study is to investigate the association of sexual functions with levator hiatus biometry measurements and levator ani muscle defect.

Methods

In 62 heterosexual, sexually active premenopausal women without pelvic floor disorders or urinary incontinence, 3-dimensional transperineal ultrasound imaging was used. Two 3-dimensional volumes were recorded, one at rest and one on Valsalva maneuver. Levator biometry measurements and levator defect were evaluated in an axial plane. Sexual function was assessed by a validated questionnaire, Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The primary outcome measure was correlation of sexual functions with the levator hiatus area, transverse and anteroposterior diameters, levator ani muscle thickness, vaginal length, and changes in measurements with Valsalva and levator defect.

Results

Forty-two women (67.7%) had low total FSFI scores (<26.55). Levator defect rates were similar in female sexual dysfunction (7/42, 16.7%) and women without female sexual dysfunction (5/20, 25%). The FSFI was negatively and weakly correlated with Δhiatal anteroposterior diameter (r = −0.33, P < 0.009) in the study population. There was a weak and inverse correlation between Δhiatal anteroposterior diameter and arousal (r = −0.35, P < 0.002), desire (r = −0.38, P < 0.001), and orgasm (r = −0.33, P < 0.007). Pain and lubrication did not correlate with any measurement.

Conclusions

Hiatal area and diameters at rest are not related to sexual functions. Changes in anteroposterior diameter of the levator hiatus during Valsalva, which may be a sign of pelvic floor laxity or levator muscle weakness, are weakly associated with sexual functions, particularly desire, arousal, and orgasm domains.

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